Here's to our 2015 Blacksmith winners!

By Sara Cullin, APR, and Maureen Richmond, APR

We had a fantastic time celebrating success at the 2015 Blacksmith Awards at the Bell Event Centre Nov. 19. Our friends and colleagues went home with more than 100 awards and, hopefully, with renewed inspiration for the New Year. We are grateful to our event sponsors, participants and our planning committee members who made it possible. Thank you to Betsy Ross from Game Day Communications, who graciously served as the Master of Ceremonies for the special evening.

Awards were presented at three levels: Bronze, Silver and Blacksmith. The Blacksmith is presented to the best work in each category. A big thanks is also due to members of Rochester, N.Y., PRSA Chapter which judged the entries and determined this year’s winners.

Blacksmith Awards: 2015 PR Campaigns

Broadway in CincinnatiCommunity Relations Campaign, “Bring the Bling: A Partnership between Broadway in Cincinnati, Kenzie's Closet and Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella”

Local non-profit Kenzie’s Closet benefited from the collection of more than 3,400 pieces of prom jewelry for financially disadvantaged girls. Meanwhile, the program sold three times the single ticket revenue of non-blockbuster January shows in the past decade.

NorthlichIntegrated Marketing Campaign, “Scooter the Neutered Cat Leads the Ten Movement’s Mission to Create a No-Kill Cat Nation” 

The Ten Movement was designed to inspire cat owners and advocates to fight feline overpopulation with spay and neutering to create a no-kill cat nation.

Wordsworth Communications: Best in Show & Media Relations Campaign, “Fifth Third LIFE Launch”

Fifth Third Bank—the 16th largest bank in the country—launched its four financial empowerment programs under one comprehensive umbrella, Lives Improved through Financial Empowerment or LIFE. The bank looked to Wordsworth for a comprehensive and unique media relations campaign.

Non-Profit PR Campaign, “Makeover Madness at Countryside YMCA”: In 2015, Countryside YMCA—the largest YMCA in the country—embarked on a 20-month, $7.7 million renovation. But a persistent rumor mill, fueled by employee misinformation, threatened to dampen excitement about the project. The Y turned to Wordsworth Communications for support materials to engage members.

Blacksmith Awards: 2015 PR Tactics

Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Community Organizing Committee Partnership: “Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau and the COC Unite to bring All-Star Game Excitement to the Region”

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation: Annual Report, “Together”

Website, “GCF: Building a Foundation Online”

Intrinzic in Partnership with Everything But the House: Blogger Outreach, “Key Influencer Outreach for New Market Expansion”

Intrinzic in Partnership with Johnson Investment Counsel: Special Purpose Publication, “Johnson Investment Counsel 50th Anniversary Book”

Northlich: Press Kit or Media Website, “Formica Laminate Comes to Life in Video Press Kit”

Trade Show, “The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show Featuring the Formica Laminate Jonathan Adler Collection”

Video, “He Always Struts, He's Got No Nuts”

YouTube/ Vimeo/ Vine, “Video Drives Website Traffic for ORG”

Topic Design: Product Launch, “Giovanna Edition of Supreme Wrapping Film by Avery Dennison”

Wordsworth Communications: Best in Show & Best Placement, “ThermalStrike Heated Luggage”

Blog, “Healthy Sleep Zone”

Facebook, “REM-Fit Facebook”

Print Collateral, “Makeover Madness Materials Suite”

Special Event, “Client Love”

Vehr CommunicationsArticle or Feature Story, "Making the Call" Xavier Nation Magazine

Employee Event, “Henny Penny ESOP”

Professional Recognition

Shannan Boyer, Scooter Media

PR Professional of the Year

Nicole Price, Student at the University of Cincinnati

PRSSA Student of the Year

Dwight Ferrell, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.

CEO Communicator of the Year

Congratulations to SORTA, Communications Team of the Year!

Congratulations to SORTA, Communications Team of the Year!

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority

Communications Team of the Year

Vehr Communications

Small or Mid-Sized Agency of the Year

Wordsworth Communications

Large Agency of the Year

Silver and Bronze Award Recipients

Cincinnati Metro

Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, meetNKY and Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network

Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network

Clermont County, Ohio


EyeMed Vision Care Marketing and Communications

Fast Park / Vehr Communications

Flottman Company

FUSIONWRX, A Flottman Company

Game Day Communications

Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services

Hamilton County Job and Family Services


Kenton County Public Library

Kristan Getsy, Life’s Eyes Media

M. Gail Myers, APR

Mercy Health

Northlich, LLC

Ohio National Financial Services

Pomme Communications

Rasor Marketing Communications

Scooter Media

Shara Clark Communications and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati

SmartHealth Today / St. Elizabeth Healthcare / Vehr Communications

Source Cincinnati

Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority

Southwestern Ohio Council of Governments

Spotted Yeti Media

The E.W. Scripps Company

Tom + Chee with Scooter Media

Topic Design

Wordsworth Communications

Xavier University / Emmis Publishing / Vehr Communications